Definition of chisel in English:

chisel

noun

  • A long-bladed hand tool with a bevelled cutting edge and a handle which is struck with a hammer or mallet, used to cut or shape wood, stone, or metal.

    ‘cut away the tiles with a broad-bladed steel chisel’
    • ‘She passed by from bench to bench, examining with a passing interest the many varieties of hammers, planers, chisels and the like that were common in the shipbuilding profession.’
    • ‘He began the process of clipping various tools to his brother's belt - nail gun, replacement clips, throwing chisels, hammers, saw blades, sander, drill bits.’
    • ‘This type of leather craft involves hand tools like a chisel and hammer to create intricate designs.’
    • ‘They fashioned their dugout canoes from the trunks of cedar and silk cotton trees, hollowing out the trunks first by charring, then by chipping with their stone axes and chisels.’
    • ‘A soft-faced mallet is used with wood and plastic-handled chisels.’
    • ‘Finally, passion for the art of the muzzleloader led him back to the workbench, where his files, chisels, hammers, gravers and bits transform wood and metal into classic firearms of America's earlier times.’
    • ‘At the age of 70, famous wood and stone carver Dick Reid is hanging up his mallet and chisels at his workshop in Fishergate and calling it a day.’
    • ‘Just before you get to the edge, use a firmer chisel - bevel side down - and mallet to get under the tile and ease it out in small sections.’
    • ‘Then, pointing the chisel inward, strike a sharp blow with the hammer.’
    • ‘Arrows and barbed harpoons were placed near the right leg; milling stones, awls, chisels, knives, and other offerings were set to the left of the body.’
    • ‘Carpenters had mallets, hammers, drills, chisels, scrapers, planes, and copper saws at their disposal.’
    • ‘Hammers, tongs, chisels, drills, rivets and a jumble of other small tools ringed this area, neatly lying on tables or upon shelves within quick reach of the smith.’
    • ‘Traditional cement removal tools include chisels, mallets, osteotomes, curettes, rongeurs, and high speed drills and burrs.’
    • ‘Sure enough it did, this time with a definite double strike, as if someone where hammering in a bolt or striking a chisel.’
    • ‘His tools included a chisel, knife, saw, and a piece of iron.’
    • ‘And here's a secret: Unlike hammers and chisels, writing tools never have to be returned.’
    • ‘She is from the Gaduliya lohar community and makes hammers, spoons, chisels and tongs from scrap metal.’
    • ‘You can still see the drill marks in the stone where they used drills and chisels to cut the stone to separate into pieces.’
    • ‘Many were idle now, but some still turned, and it didn't need a hradani's ears to hear the sounds of hammers, saws, chisels, and other tools coming from the large brick buildings clustered about them.’
    • ‘They would also have used tools such as planes, axes, adzes, draw knives, wedges, knives, chisels, hammers, mallets, awls, gouges, and spoon augers (a type of drill).’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Cut or shape (something) with a chisel.

    ‘chisel a hole through the brickwork’
    • ‘Nature was obviously having fun here, chiselling the rocks.’
    • ‘Now we have to cut and chisel them, making them smooth, bringing out their features.’
    • ‘Sculptor Neil Simmons took eight months to chisel the statue from a two-ton block of marble imported from Italy.’
    • ‘He is happy to launch himself into chiselling stones all over again - something that never tires him.’
    • ‘There are also a few huge boulders which were chiselled into cubic shapes centuries ago and now serve as surreal houses and stables.’
    • ‘We've sprayed it with Q10, hammered it, chiselled it, attempted to lever it out with a crowbar - all to no avail.’
    • ‘Squatting amidst the logs by the entrance to the hall where the show is on, Suresh Bhat from Ahmedabad is the craftsman engrossed in chiselling these logs into things of beauty.’
    • ‘This last memorial has a notable sculpture, a heroic Cretan woman raising her hammer to chisel the names of the dead.’
    • ‘When the sculptor chisels the stone, his right hand naturally takes the chipped stone along with the motion of his chisel.’
    • ‘There was a classic Renaissance look about him, as if some female sculptor had lovingly chiseled his features out of marble.’
    • ‘In another house, the elders are so skilled that they are engaged in a chat even while their hands are chiselling the ear of Lord Ganapathy, and carving decorative ornaments on an artistic panel.’
    • ‘Vince said it had taken a watchmaker 18 months to chisel the pattern out of a cardboard-thin slice of rare earth magnet.’
    • ‘Drill a hole and chisel a shallow mortise in that jamb for the strike plate.’
    • ‘In wax, he chisels divinity and has a series of works representing the myriad forms of Ganesha apart from Hanuman, Saraswathi and Venkateshwara.’
    • ‘Themes from Indian mythology were chiselled on stone.’
    • ‘Way back in the early days of the last century it was chiselled into shape in Pairc Mor Wood or Garrdha Chill.’
    • ‘Words like courage, sacrifice and duty are chiseled on the architraves of granite pavilions.’
    • ‘Then he chips and chisels the block, carving out the small figurines.’
    • ‘Metal sculpting in fine detailed chiseling work is restricted to only a precious few, and those in America that do so are slowly disappearing.’
    • ‘Two huge standing Buddhas were chiselled into the cliff more than 1,500 years ago in the central Bamiyan Valley on the ancient Silk Route linking Europe and Central Asia.’
    cut, carve, shape, fashion, form, chip, hammer, sculpt, sculpture, model, whittle, rough-hew
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  • 2North American informal Cheat or swindle (someone) out of something.

    ‘he's chiselled me out of my dues’
    • ‘Do you think you can chisel me out of a fortune and then prance over here and try me on like a secondhand suit?’
    • ‘We're not trying to chisel them out of Anzac Day and Christmas Day and Public Holidays.’
    • ‘Remember, if you to try to chisel me here I'm gonna slice you up.’
    • ‘On our job the pay rate for new construction was significantly higher than for repairs, so the company chiseled us by classifying everything as repairs.’
    • ‘He and many in Congress tried to chisel New Yorkers out of money from day one.’
    • ‘Now we've seen the legislation and the government is, indeed, about to chisel us out of our public holidays, it will be interesting to see how Howard tries to escape his dilemma.’
    swindle, defraud, cheat, fleece, gull
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old Northern French, based on Latin cis- (as in late Latin cisorium), variant of caes-, stem of caedere ‘to cut’. Compare with scissors.

Pronunciation

chisel

/ˈtʃɪz(ə)l/